Feature Article  


Waiting Too Long To Pursue Your Claim Can Bar Your Recovery

If you have been injured due to the wrongful actions of another, beware!  The clock is ticking.  Generally speaking, a legal doctrine called "statute of limitations" provides that you must bring your claim (file a lawsuit) within a specified timeframe, or forever be barred from pursuing such claim.  



The time periods can vary significantly depending upon the jurisdiction, the type of case, the plaintiff, and other factors.  Many exceptions and caveats have developed over the years in certain jurisdictions which make the calculation of these time periods can be exceedingly complicated.  Therefore, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to help you determine when the deadline is for you to file your lawsuit.

Beyond the "statute of limitations", many jurisdictions place additional deadlines on claims brought against certain types of entities.  For instance, in a number of states, additional deadlines exist for persons seeking to assert a claim against a governmental unit.  These deadlines require that the claimant put the government "on notice" of the claim much sooner than the statute of limitations requires that a lawsuit be filed (in some cases just a matter of months after the incident giving rise to the claim).  If notice is not given, the claim is barred.  This example illustrates the importance of acting quickly to obtain competent legal counsel to guide you through this legal minefield.

Besides the consequences of missing a filing deadline, there are other important reasons not to delay in pursuing a personal injury claim.  The sooner an attorney is hired, the soon he or she can begin investigating the facts, interviewing witnesses, and otherwise set about obtaining and preserving important evidence to be used in pursing your case.  Otherwise, witnesses' memories tend to fade and crucial evidence can be lost or destroyed.






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